With Eric Bieniemy continuing to get snubbed by the NFL, Skip Bayless is putting the league’s older white owners on blast.
Every single year, the media cites the glaring lack of diversity with NFL coaches and executives. And every single year, there is little to no tangible progress on the issue.
“I think there’s progress, and we’re pleased to see progress. But it’s never enough,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said last week during his state of the league address before the Super Bowl. “We always look to sort of say, ‘How can we do better?’ A number of the things we implemented last year have proven to be direct beneficiary of some of the changes that occurred.”
During the latest hiring cycle, five NFL head coaches received jobs and just one is Black. In a 32-team league where 60 percent of its players are Black, there are just three Black head coaches. That’s the progress Goodell boasted about during his pre-Super Bowl press conference. And that’s what Bayless discussed Thursday on Undisputed.
Skip Bayless believes older white NFL owners aren’t comfortable with Black head coaches pic.twitter.com/Y93Gv51hUL
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) February 16, 2023
“I have been dumbfounded by it,” Bayless told his Undisputed co-host Shannon Sharpe regarding the NFL’s lack of diversity. “It has been inexplicable to me, but then in the end, it’s really pretty explicable.”
Bieniemy just helped lead the Kansas City Chiefs to their third Super Bowl appearance and second Super Bowl victory in four years. Yet it’s the offensive coordinator from the losing team who landed a head coaching job, while Bieniemy is left to consider an assistant job with the Washington Commanders. According to Bayless, the contrast boils down to the fraternity of older white NFL owners and the fact that they’re just not comfortable with minority head coaches.
“These older white owners just aren’t that comfortable with a Black head coach because they need to interact, they need to go to dinner with the wives or the significants or whatever,” Bayless continued. “And they’re just not that comfortable. When they do have an interview, it’s gonna be a quicker click with a young white hot candidate.
“It’s just culture, it’s just the way life is. And I don’t know how to defeat it, because each of these guys is an independent owner in the umbrella of the NFL.”
Bayless and others in the media can continue their attempts at shaming the NFL over its lack of diversity. The NFL can continue to encourage more diversity by implementing and tweaking The Rooney Rule. But if older white owners aren’t comfortable with minority head coaches running their teams, then we’re going to have this same maddening conversation year after year.